Washington Post Airbrushes Racist Trayvon-Related Headline

Ann Althouse, with an assist from Michael Barone, describes George Zimmerman's racial background:

George Zimmerman is "one-fourth black, four times as black as Warren is Indian, though the New York Times describes him as a 'white Hispanic.'"

Writes Michael Barone, noting that Elizabeth Warren asserts that she is "1-32nd Native American [and] George Zimmerman, the Florida accused murderer, had a black grandmother."

If we're doing plain old arithmetic here, Zimmerman is 8 times as black as Warren is Native American. (At the genetic level, it could be a lot more complex — were the identified ancestors 100%? — but that doesn't explain the error.)

As Althouse concluded, if you "feel a little queasy about doing math, maybe your queasiness will carry over into wondering what the hell are we doing calculating racial percentages! It really is quite disgusting."

Much more disgusting are the racial games the MSM are playing with this trial; keep the above details from Althouse and Barone in mind, as we'll be returning to them momentarily. On Thursday afternoon, Washington Post-owned Slate ran an article on Zimmerman with the following headline and lede:


You'll notice that's a Google cache, as the headline was changed at some point today by Slate after they were reminded that Zimmerman is Hispanic. (You can see a couple of heads up to Slate in the comments to their Facebook page below.) The headline and subhead now read, "I Don’t Feel Your Pain -- A failure of empathy perpetuates racial disparities."

As of the time of this post, the original headline, "Why White People Don't Feel Black People's Pain," is still visible in Slate's Twitter feed:


As well as its Facebook page:


At Newsbusters yesterday, Paul Bremmer noted in a post written before Slate changed its headline that the actual article has little to do with the incident involving Zimmerman and Martin, once it gets past its original racialist headline and lede:

Zimmerman and Martin were only mentioned in the opening paragraph, but that prominent placement indicates that Silverstein was trying to tie them into his larger point about the “racial empathy gap.” Here is that opening paragraph in its entirety:

"George Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin because he perceived him as dangerous. The defense argues he was, the prosecution argues he wasn’t. No one, of course, argues that Zimmerman approached Martin with kindness, or stopped to consider the boy as anything other than suspicious, an outsider. Ultimately Zimmerman shot and killed Martin. A lack of empathy can produce national tragedies. But it also drives quieter, more routine forms of discrimination."

There’s no direct mention of race in that passage, but the implication is clear when you read the rest of the article. Silverstein believes Zimmerman felt no empathy for Martin because Martin was black. But keep in mind that Zimmerman, as a Hispanic, is also a minority. Most of the studies that Silverstein cited dealt only with white participants. So Zimmerman’s connection to the racial empathy gap is highly questionable.

As Bremmer concluded, "Slate shouldn’t be using the Zimmerman trial to accuse all Americans of a lack of empathy for blacks."

Well, yes. Especially when Zimmerman is of a diverse mixed ethnic background himself.

But then, as John Hayward writes at the Breitbart.com "Conversation" group blog, when it comes to the left, "The focus most certainly is race at the Zimmerman trial." The Washington Post owns Slate; it has the same relationship with the Post that MSNBC has with its parent company -- it's the place where both agencies can really go to town with their "liberal" bias. And reading Hayward's description of the trial, they'll likely have plenty more opportunities to let it all hang out in the coming weeks:

Everyone from the Martin family's lawyers, to the professional grievance industry, to characters like the New Black Panther Party was busy whipping up riot conditions and treating Zimmerman as a fugitive from racial justice, which led to filmmaker Spike Lee endangering the lives of an innocent couple that just happened to be named "Zimmerman."  And there's a good reason the media referred to Zimmerman as "white" until photos of him finally leaked out, and they had to change it to "white Hispanic," a very special demographic of which George Zimmerman seems to remain the only high-profile member.

As the likelihood of a not-guilty verdict grows, the machinery of racial unrest is getting pumped up again.  Death threats against "creepy ass cracka" George Zimmerman are flying around Twitter.  An acquittal might be the best thing that could happen for certain political and cultural actors, as Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit suggested: "Obama and the Democrats would actually prefer an acquittal here.  That’s because the whole point of the ginned-up Zimmerman affair was to inflame racial sentiment to boost black turnout in 2012.  With any luck, they can turn an acquittal into another racial rallying cry, which will help in 2014. It’s not about Zimmerman; he’s just one of those eggs you have to break to make an Obama omelet."

As George Orwell once said, "Yes, but where is the omelette?"

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